Attorney General Beau Biden announced new charges Thursday in an ongoing Delaware Child Predator Task Force investigation of a child pornography network and the arrest of a Smyrna man from a separate child pornography investigation.
"Our Child Predator Task Force is hard at work identifying those who threaten our kids and taking them off the streets," Biden said.
This past January, three Delaware men – Rogelio A. Cordero, 55, of New Castle, David M. Pennington, 70, of Georgetown, and William D. Zimmerman, 63, of Georgetown – were charged as part of a Task Force investigation that revealed a child pornography distribution network. At the time, Cordero and Zimmerman were charged with multiple counts of dealing in child pornography, and Pennington was charged with a violation of his probation for a 1994 conviction of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Through their continuing forensic review of evidence that was secured during the investigation, detectives determined that Pennington received, reviewed, and commented on images of child pornography that he had received. As a result, Pennington was charged on March 1 with two counts of dealing in child pornography. At the time of his arrest, Pennington was in custody at Sussex Correctional Institution for the pending violation of probation charge. He was arraigned via videophone by Justice of the Peace Court 2 and was ordered held on $120,000 secured bond. During his arraignment, officials noted that Pennington had three prior convictions for sex crimes against children, including one involving the possession of child pornography.
In a separate case, Biden announced that an online undercover investigation into the online distribution of child pornography led to the arrest of Smyrna resident Jerry L. Whiteman, Jr., 34, on 10 counts of dealing in child pornography.
On Feb. 28, Child Predator Task Force detectives, with the assistance of troopers from Delaware State Police Troop 9, executed a search warrant at a residence in the 1700 block of Joe Goldsborough Road in Smyrna, seizing two computers and assorted digital storage devices. After a forensic preview of the evidence revealed images of child pornography detectives charged Whiteman, an occupant of the residence. Whiteman was arraigned via videophone by Justice of the Peace Court 2 and was taken to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $600,000 secured bond.